How AT&T Customers Can Get The Qualcomm iPhone X

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by mjr1000, Nov 1, 2017.

  1. mjr1000 macrumors regular

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    Oct 31, 2017
    #1
    Quick background - Apple again will have at least 2 versions of the iPhone X - one with a Qualcomm modem for CDMA networks (Verizon/Sprint) and one with an Intel modem for GSM networks (AT&T/T-Mobile). There is some evidence, most anecdotal, that the superior Qualcomm chip outperforms the Intel chip in terms of service connectivity (more bars), upload/download speeds (on LTE), and battery life (due to size of the components). Apple has admitted to throttling the Qualcomm chip to perform at the lower level of the Intel chip. It is clear that the Qualcomm variant comes with the premium parts. It also works on both CDMA and GSM networks, so it would work on AT&T for instance, and some data suggests that the Qualcomm variant pulls better data speeds on AT&T than the Intel version.

    Ok - so how do AT&T customers get the Qualcomm phone. Unfortunately, AT&T customers who purchase phones directly from Apple or AT&T, even if paid in full, will get the Intel version. However, if you purchase the phone from a US retailer like Best Buy, Target, or Walmart, you will get the Qualcomm version because these retailers carry the "universal" model of the iPhone which has the flexibility to work with all US carriers. Best buy is offering pre-sales but it is less clear whether Target and Walmart will have them and when.

    Now comes my question to someone who has insight into how these phones are locked to the carrier upon activation.

    My understanding is that if you activate the phone with a Verizon SIM card, regardless of what carrier you actually use, the phone will be unlocked as that is Verizon's iPhone locking policy. Verizon iPhones are factory unlocked. The question - does this have to be a Paid-In-Full phone or can you do the same with a phone purchased on a carriers installment plan? For instance, if I purchase a phone using AT&T Next (meaning it is on contract), can I still activate it using a Verizon SIM to unlock the phone and use it on my AT&T Next plan without problem. The reason anyone might want to do this is because the Verizon unlocked phone also works with pre-paid international SIM cards while traveling abroad.

    The question again - can you Verizon SIM activate an iPhone purchased from Best Buy on an AT&T Next plan and use it on AT&T without issue?

    Thanks!
     
  2. YaBoiD macrumors regular

    YaBoiD

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2011
    #2
    Hey mjr1000, the way you've phrased the question is a little confusing.
    If you have an iPhone on an AT&T Next plan then it is locked to that network until the device is fully paid off. Until that period, the device is fully locked to the carrier in which you have that installment plan with whether Verizon, AT&T, etc.
     
  3. AbSoluTc macrumors 601

    AbSoluTc

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2008
    #3
    Why?

    There is not guarantee that you will get the "Qualcomm" version. If you're on AT&T, get the AT&T one. If you're worried about all this, buy a phone outright from Apple. Problem solved.

    I don't get these threads worrying about locked, unlocked, GSM, CDMA --- future proofing a phone purchase. Makes no sense. It's easier to not buy the damn phone to begin with.

    Turning a simple thing into something super complicated - seems to be the American way.
     
  4. djkinetic macrumors regular

    djkinetic

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    Chicago, IL
    #4
    If you're purchasing the phone on ATT Next, you're buying the phone from ATT so your going to get the ATT (Intel) version. The only way to guarantee that you get the Qcom version is buying it from Verizon or Sprint..the straight unlocked ones form Apple I believe will still be Intel, unless you specify Sprint or Verizon as your carrier..Apple and Qcom are involved in a bitter lawsuit...there are reports Apple will drop Qcom entirely for future iPhones because of this...Which is sad because Qcom radios are pretty much the default standard...the fact Apple is throttling Qcom chipsets to intentionally limit performance cause the Intel radio gets outperformed so badly is telling...Personally I have a Sprint account, as such I ordered the X on sprint and will unlock it for use on ATT/Tmobile and put my 7 Plus back on Sprint.
     
  5. KingslayerG5 Suspended

    KingslayerG5

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    Oct 16, 2017
    #5
    Salty for a simple question that you didn't need to answer if you couldn't answer it.

    So many of these posters are like this. So negative about everything. Salty for nothing. This is a discussion board. We are supposed HELP others here. Not give them lectures on life.

    To answer the OP, YES! That's my plan. Verizon from Best Buy is the UNIVERSAL model. I need the strongest signal possible for my work and with the most efficient battery life during weak signal areas.
     
  6. alent1234 macrumors 603

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    Jun 19, 2009
    #6
    you have to buy in the evil best buy store since theirs are all universal phones
     
  7. bad1550 macrumors regular

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    Aug 13, 2007
    #7
    I was only able to order the t mobile version from Apple. Can my daughter use her Verizon sim with that phone?
     
  8. webbuzz macrumors 68000

    webbuzz

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    Jul 24, 2010
    #8
    Or, wait for Apple to release the SIM-free model in a few weeks (realistically 2 months).
     
  9. AbSoluTc macrumors 601

    AbSoluTc

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    Sep 21, 2008
    #9

    Pretty sure someone could hand you an AT&T phone and say it was a Verizon model and you would never know the difference. Same with everyone else on the planet.
     
  10. djkinetic macrumors regular

    djkinetic

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    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #10
    Its possible but i'm not sure its been a while since a looked at LTE bands and such for each carrier..I'd have to look at it briefly...I want to say it should, except for if you need CDMA service...which I doubt you would need unless roaming somewhere remote that doesn't have LTE coverage.
    --- Post Merged, Nov 1, 2017 ---
    I would, because there are two different model numbers.

    iPhone X - A1865:
    • Qualcomm X16
    iPhone X - A1901
    • Intel XMM 7480
    Those are the supposed model numbers for each X and in past iPhones they were listed on the back.
     
  11. cforster macrumors 6502

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    Sep 19, 2013
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    Missouri USA
    #11
    Not entirely correct. Verizon's LTE phones are ALL UNLOCKED, at all times, from the moment you activate it and on....
     
  12. icanhazapple macrumors 6502

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    Feb 26, 2009
    #12
    Wait, so all US LTE bands (including those used by at&t/t-mobile) are supported with the Verizon/Sprint model?

    What LTE bands are missing from the Sprint/Verizon version? Otherwise they would would have made a single phone.
     
  13. djkinetic macrumors regular

    djkinetic

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    Chicago, IL
    #13
    The VZW/Sprint model are the best iPhones because they support all LTE Bands, allow for CDMA service, and have the Qualcomm Radio. Gonna research for a minute and will update this post. But I know the Sprint iPhones work on every GSM carrier here in the US...ive used an Unlocked Sprint 7 Plus on ATT and T-mobile Networks.

    https://www.macrumors.com/2016/09/08/att-and-tmobile-iphone-7-models-lack-cdma/

    This shows the bands available on each on the 7 plus which should be the same on the X
     
  14. KingslayerG5 Suspended

    KingslayerG5

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2017
    #14
    The problem is Best Buy won't offer it by purchasing it outright anymore. You need to sign up with a carrier. You might end up paying an extra $80+ for a one month service you don't need.

    It does not bother me because I was planning to move back to Verizon anyway. I still have T-Mobile but the data speed and signal strength doesn't match Verizon's.

    So what I plan to do is sign up for Verizon's plan. Once I pay off the remaining balance of the S7 edge, I will end my T-Mobile service and upgrade my Verizon to unlimited.

    All these little details to some of us matters. Being salty or having some pretentious "holier than thou" attitude by looking down on us like we are all a bunch of dumba**es doesn't help anybody. We came here to discuss and to help one another.

    Verizon: Unlocked. Qualcomm chip.

    Best Buy sells it. If you move back to AT&T after you cancel your Verizon, it will still recognize your AT&T sim. Trust me. I know all this. I went back and forth swapping Verizon phones w/ AT&T and T-Mobile sims. Verizon iPhones has like O-negative blood.
     
  15. djkinetic macrumors regular

    djkinetic

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    #15
    Verizon and Sprint are the same models, just that Verizon ships factory unlocked, Sprint you have to ask Sprint to unlock it after 50 days or pay 30-50 dollars to have a 3rd party do a factory unlock
     
  16. questionmark32 macrumors regular

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    Sep 23, 2013
    #16
    Hmmm... Walmart and Target will have them available on Launch Day? I wonder how packed those stores will be
     
  17. icanhazapple macrumors 6502

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    Feb 26, 2009
    #17
    good stuff, thanks.
     
  18. AbSoluTc macrumors 601

    AbSoluTc

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    #18
    You would have no idea if you could not tell. None. If you have to look for a number to tell, it doesn't matter. Lol
     
  19. Newtons Apple macrumors Core

    Newtons Apple

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    #19
    Good Luck on that!
     
  20. opticflare macrumors member

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    Aug 12, 2013
    #20
    I'm just asking a question, but why does everyone want a "Qualcomm" model so bad? I'm on AT&T. I bought the AT&T version, am I missing something out by not getting that?
     
  21. icanhazapple macrumors 6502

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    #21
  22. alent1234 macrumors 603

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    Jun 19, 2009
    #22
    supposed to be a little better in low signal situations
     
  23. icanhazapple macrumors 6502

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    Feb 26, 2009
    #23
    they tend to have better performance. Qualcomm engineers a solution in hardware, Intel engineers the solution in software. CE/EE's will tell you its more 'pure' to decode a signal with a chip as opposed to decoding the signal in software. Decoding with software is supposed to have an error correcting mechanism but this error correcting takes power/cycles, which slows the decoding.
     
  24. questionmark32 macrumors regular

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    Sep 23, 2013
    #24
    What do you mean? I can't imagine Target being more busy than an Apple Store
     
  25. Harthag macrumors 6502a

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    U.S.
    #25
    You would absolutely know the second you leave LTE coverage and try to place a CDMA call on Verizon- you won't be able to because the Intel modem lacks CDMA capability.

    OP, I believe that the Best Buy phones are the universal models as others have said, but if you buy it using at&t next, it'll be locked to at&t. But yes, you'll get the Qualcomm modem.
     

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87 November 1, 2017